Much was made in the fall of Bryce Harper's comment that he wanted to take a month off during the offseason and "get as big as a house."
Harper, who stands at 6-foot-2, was already a sturdy 230 pounds. His first two years in the big leagues were stellar, as he was named Rookie of the Year in 2012 and an All-Star in both 2012 and 2013.
If it ain't broke, some people thought, why fix it?
"I think there's some concern, but I think what tempers that concern is when you're at that age, when you're as young as he is, that he could in the process of spring training knock 10, 15 pounds off,” former pitcher Dan Plesac said on MLB Network. “It looks like this additional weight, if he is able to put it on, and he’s not as mobile as he was before. And I think one of the things that makes Bryce Harper so appealing is the way he plays with reckless abandon."
Harper appeared to be well on his way to gaining 10 or 15 pounds when he tweeted out this picture in January:
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) January 7, 2014
And now a new photo out of spring training shows that the Washington Nationals appears to have accomplished his goal of putting on 10 to 15 pounds. If not even more.
— 106.7 The Fan (@1067thefandc) March 5, 2014
Here's Harper last year:
And here he is at Spring Training:
— Michael Carter (@michael_carter2) March 6, 2014
Notice a difference?
A slugger bulking up in the offseason might strike some people as sketchy in light of MLB's problems with performance enhancing drugs, but Harper addressed all concerns with this T-shirt:
ICYMI: Bryce Harper was wearing an interesting t-shirt today during an on-set interview. pic.twitter.com/Ah5oFdJAfx
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 21, 2014